Furniture conservator/restorer

A furniture conservator/restorer uses practical and scientific techniques to restore, preserve and care for modern, historic and antique furniture.

Furniture conservators combine their knowledge of the most up-to-date science with an understanding of the properties of materials and construction techniques to determine the best means of conversation of furniture pieces. Aesthetic awareness is also essential – conservators use their knowledge of art history and changes in fashion to conserve objects sensitively and appropriately.

Work activities

  • Assessing the condition of furniture via visual and scientific examinations.
  • Liaising with clients/professionals.
  • Obtaining suitable upholstery and other materials.
  • Developing and utilising conservation techniques.
  • Estimating restoration costs and time scales.

Work conditions

Travel: can be a feature of the job.
Working hours: mainly 9 to 5 with some possible extra hours.
Location: quite widely available in the private sector but mainly confined to large towns and cities in the public sector.

Entry requirements

A relevant degree or diploma in furniture restoration/design/craft or art and design is usually necessary alongside work experience.

There are currently no practical restoration courses available in Ireland; the Irish Professional Conservators’ and Restorers’ Association (IPCRA) lists a range of courses based in the UK.